This is the first post of my focus on MALE development, even though I will keep the posts for "self" development from prior.
I decided to explore and focus on male development, because I think that it is an area that is neither explored or presented as being good in popular culture, leading many to make many errors over their life, as it has in mine.
What do I mean? We have a society that values women, and that is good. However, for all the talk about equality, not all of us are equal in expectations or roles, and what is considered good and success for one is considered failure for the other.
I have a personality that is generally more sacrificial and giving. Now, that has gone too far, and I am pulling back for more self respect and building that is long overdue. However, that giving nature that is always asking what I can do for others and asking for their input in making decisions (to not be dominating and to be respectful)... while being something that is VALUED in a WOMAN.. is seen as lack of initiative and indecision when done by MEN.
Many men, like myself, have listened to the words of liberalism and feminism and took heed and stepped up to help women to achieve their goals. However, that HELP, while being out of a heart of value and respect for equality, is seen as condescension by the woman and instead of being accepted with gratitude is met with anger and resentment.
MEANWHILE, the man does these things thinking that women will find them more attractive for doing them for women. However, my experience with not only my ex wife but others has proved the opposite. The more of "feminine" characteristics that a man shows, the less attractive he is to the woman. She may accept him more as a person and even be a great friend, but the actions are the way a romantic mate becomes trapped and excluded in the friend zone by a woman that wants a strong, providing mate.
I faced these challenges early in my growth into adulthood of being friend-zoned. However, I have seen that it is very much applicable in marriage, as well. Women want to feel safe and protected. However, to accomplish this the man must be STRONG and dominating... if he is strong enough to challenge her, he is strong enough to challenge others.. or the reverse, as well. They also want someone that is able to provide romantic gifts and trips to them. So, if you slow your work to care for their needs, for example, ending in less money, you will work yourself right out of attraction.
So, my first tip for men is this... LISTEN to what women say and respect that FOR THEM but know that even THEY do not expect or desire the same from you. Men must live by their own set of rules and expectations.